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Old 04-21-2020, 01:29 PM
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Default Quarantined in Spain

Hello all! My name's Brian, I'm a 23 year old aspiring professional maker from the suburbs of New York City. I built my first guitar shaped object at 13 and have been learning and building for the past 10 years. At 20 I decided to take a semester off from college to travel to La Herradura, Granada province Spain to take a month long master class in classical guitar making from Stephen Hill. That semester off has been ongoing as after the course I was offered an apprenticeship with another maker in the mountains of Malaga Spain.

I returned to New York at the end of 2017 and took a job at a local independent craft beer bar to make extra cash while building. That initial barback job quickly led to me becoming the manager with very little time to spend on the craft. After two and a half years of slinging heady beers I decided to put that life on the back burner and focus on guitar making so I packed my bags and boarded an A330 from JFK to AGP on March 1st to work in Stephen Hill's shop once more.

Two weeks after my arrival the scale of Covid-19 became evident and the entire country closed down. I opted to stick it out and have been quarantined for a little over 5 weeks. Despite the quarantine I've been able to spend some time in the shop and would like to share some photos of my work thus far. I know classical guitars aren't the norm for this forum but thought given most people are at home with little else to do a different style of construction would be interesting.

My plan is to focus on classical guitars mainly in the future but my 10 year love affair with steel string guitars continues; before I flew to Spain I completed jigs and molds to build my original interpretation of the classic Martin OM shape. I look forward to sharing photos of that when I eventually return to the states.

Here's my progress on a 650mm scale length concert guitar:

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Old 04-21-2020, 01:52 PM
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I don't know a lot about classical guitars, but it looks like it coming along really well. Obviously a lot of work and attention to detail. Good luck with the quarantine there and with your building....
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Old 04-21-2020, 02:28 PM
skyblue314 skyblue314 is offline
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It's coming along beautifully, Brian, and I'm sure I'm not the only one looking forward to your progress. I love that you've decided to follow your passion and uproot yourself from New York to study with one of the best luthiers of classical guitars. I hope that I get to hear or see your work in the future! Granada and the Andalusia region is one of my favorite parts of the world, and I can't think of a better place to be sheltering from the pandemic than having a view of the Alhambra in your back yard. Stay safe and be well!
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Old 04-21-2020, 02:55 PM
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I too don't know much about classical guitars, but this is looking great so far to me--thanks for sharing it!
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:27 PM
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I love this story (and the pictures). Thanks for sharing, Brian. I'm looking forward to hearing about your continuing journey.
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Old 04-22-2020, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyblue314 View Post
It's coming along beautifully, Brian, and I'm sure I'm not the only one looking forward to your progress. I love that you've decided to follow your passion and uproot yourself from New York to study with one of the best luthiers of classical guitars. I hope that I get to hear or see your work in the future! Granada and the Andalusia region is one of my favorite parts of the world, and I can't think of a better place to be sheltering from the pandemic than having a view of the Alhambra in your back yard. Stay safe and be well!
Thanks so much! While I'm in Granada province I'm actually about 45 minutes outside of the city. There's definitely worse places to be while under quarantine; here's the view from my balcony:

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Old 04-22-2020, 11:43 AM
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I've routed the binding channels and bent the binding. Laminated my purfling and will begin the process of installing the trim tomorrow. Should be ready for varnish by early next week



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Old 04-22-2020, 11:45 AM
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Have also started a second guitar, this one's based on a first epoch Torres from the mid 1860's but with my own aesthetic flair





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Old 04-22-2020, 09:52 PM
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Nice work Brian. What woods are you using?

Must be a real chore to live with that view on a daily basis ; )
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Old 04-23-2020, 04:15 AM
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Your work looks very clean, Brian. I really like the woods you've chosen and your "aesthetic flair"!

Seeing the picture of your view has made me very nostalgic. I lived in Granada back in the early 1980s and loved it ! I used to take the bus down to Motril and back four days a week to teach English classes. Motril was anything but charming, but Salobreña, Almuñécar and La Herradura defintely were, and then some!

You are a brave young man to go to such extremes to pursue your passion for guitar-building and a very lucky one indeed to be quarantined in such a beautiful part of the world. ¡Enhorabuena!

Last edited by Deft Tungsman; 04-23-2020 at 04:29 AM.
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Old 04-23-2020, 07:08 AM
Richard Mott Richard Mott is offline
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Brian, that first rosette is one of the nicest I’ve seen here in years, wonderfully complex in detail but also simple and minimalist. Beautiful!
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:39 AM
DCCougar DCCougar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itzkinguitars View Post
...There's definitely worse places to be while under quarantine; here's the view from my balcony...
Wow! You can say that again! Looks pretty darn idyllic!
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:56 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Hi, this old Brit is jealous of your location. I have an old fried living in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, overlooking Granada, and I know of a British luthier called John Evans who lives in Nerja, mostly building his version of Gibson L-1s. (mine was made with Cypress B&S!)
A wonderful part of the world!

You "work in process" pics say precision and careto me, so i really hope that it all works out for you.

One suggestion, at this time, maybe don't wear that grey T-shirt?

Mantente seguro!
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itzkinguitars View Post
I know classical guitars aren't the norm for this forum but thought given most people are at home with little else to do a different style of construction would be interesting.
A Classical guitar is an acoustic guitar so has as much right to be here as any
other.

The build is looking good - nice and clean and I too like the simply complex rosette design.
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Old 04-23-2020, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Dogma View Post
Nice work Brian. What woods are you using?

Must be a real chore to live with that view on a daily basis ; )
Thanks! The first guitar is Madagascar rosewood back, sides, head plate, and will feature Madagascar for the bridge and binding as well. The top is Swiss spruce I purchased from Stephen who had purchased it about 20 years before hand and the neck is Spanish cedar with an inlaid wenge reinforcement.

Every night when I watch the sunset over the Mediterranean while drinking a beer on my balcony I wish for something prettier to look at haha

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deft Tungsman View Post
Your work looks very clean, Brian. I really like the woods you've chosen and your "aesthetic flair"!

Seeing the picture of your view has made me very nostalgic. I lived in Granada back in the early 1980s and loved it ! I used to take the bus down to Motril and back four days a week to teach English classes. Motril was anything but charming, but Salobreña, Almuñécar and La Herradura defintely were, and then some!

You are a brave young man to go to such extremes to pursue your passion for guitar-building and a very lucky one indeed to be quarantined in such a beautiful part of the world. ¡Enhorabuena!
Thank you! La Herradura was the first place in Spain I ever visited and after spending a month here at 20 I was completely in love with my surroundings. I feel very blessed to be back in this place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
Hi, this old Brit is jealous of your location. I have an old fried living in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, overlooking Granada, and I know of a British luthier called John Evans who lives in Nerja, mostly building his version of Gibson L-1s. (mine was made with Cypress B&S!)
A wonderful part of the world!

You "work in process" pics say precision and careto me, so i really hope that it all works out for you.

One suggestion, at this time, maybe don't wear that grey T-shirt?

Mantente seguro!
Thanks! Before the quarantine my Norwegian friend Harald had brought me to an open mic in Nerja. A lovely village. A friend and I had a running joke about GG Allin and he surprised me with this ridiculous T shirt for my birthday last year. In hindsight it's probably not the best thing to wear in today's climate...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Mott View Post
Brian, that first rosette is one of the nicest I’ve seen here in years, wonderfully complex in detail but also simple and minimalist. Beautiful!
Thanks so much! I've taken much of my design for the rosette from two french makers who worked a century apart from each other, Rene Lacote and Robert Bouchet
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